In 2012 the rapper and producer David Banner was in such deep depression that after he dropped his album Sex, Drugs, and Video Games, he erased his entire hard drive of any songs, reference tracks and beats he’d ever made.
He felt he was done, both with his music and his life.
Five years later, however, the Southern rapper is back with a newfound peace of mind and an album that has been heavily praised by critics.
In a recent interview with Unique Access, David Banner opened up about the journey from a really dark place to a state of bliss and purpose.
“Your soul is dying…”
David Banner started practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) out of sheer desperation and after nudging from a friend, writer-director Bill Duke.
“I think it was when my doctor in Mississippi told me ‘David Banner, I’m not a holistic doctor, but I can look into your eyes and tell that your soul is dying,’” the rapper recalls the moment he realized he had to do something to turn things around.
“I went to the doctor feeling like I was dying. I took like a thousand dollars’ worth of tests and the only thing that came back was: my cholesterol was slightly high.
She told me that if I don’t change something about my life I’m going to die. My spirit was gone.”
At first however Banner was skeptical how Transcendental Meditation would fit into his life as a staunch Christian.
Overcoming that baseless fear, he incorporated TM into his daily routine.
“It changed me. Literally … sometimes I really feel like I’m glowing. Sometimes I really feel like I’m floating and shit, and people may think that’s strange and David Banner crazy, but I’m just being honest with you. And I think it shows in the music.”
The greatest gift in the world
Indeed, the rapper’s new album, The God Box, reflects the new David Banner – a man with a sense of wider purpose and without the destructive angst.
“It didn’t come from an angry perspective. Of course, I’m an alpha male and well over 6 feet tall. I don’t take nobody’s shit so people are taking it as aggressive because I’m a grown ass man who’s not a comedian. But it doesn’t come from an angry place; it comes from a factual place,” Banner told VIBE.
“There’s nothing in the world that feels better than helping people, bro. There are so many people that told me this album brought them light.”
David Banner also admits part of change of tone in the album is due to sobriety.
“Being high—even though it allows you to open up portals to put yourself on other levels—you’re broken, you sort of float wherever the feeling goes,” he reveals.
“I still drink a little bit, but I don’t get hammered. I’m learning to tap into God through meditation,” he explained another welcomed side effect of his practice. “I don’t need them drugs to put myself on that level.”
Thankful to the practice, he’s also been vocal about Transcendental Meditation on social media directing people to check out the tm.org website by tweeting, “Meditation is a big part of my life”.
“If there’s anything or any gift that I could give to the world, it would be Transcendental Meditation,” Banner affirms.